The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), on behalf of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) Foundation, is seeking qualified candidates for the position of SALT Astronomer.
The SAAO is the National Facility for Optical and Infrared Astronomy of the National Research Foundation (NRF). Its headquarters are in picturesque Cape Town with a Mediterranean climate, while its telescopes are at Sutherland in the semi-arid Northern Cape. Distributed between the two sites, SAAO employs about 130 people, many of them scientists and engineers, and is contracted to operate the 10-m Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), on behalf of the international SALT Foundation. SAAO is the premier optical/infrared research facility on the African continent, with global research and outreach collaborations, contributing to SET human capital development for South Africa. Research focus areas include extragalactic astronomy, time domain astrophysics, planetary astronomy and instrumentation development.
SALT Astronomers (SAs) are based in Cape Town and will be expected to regularly conduct service observing (about one week in six) on the queue-scheduled SALT. Other duties consist of preparing and scheduling of observations on behalf of the SALT users, liaising with SALT users, performing and managing pipeline data reductions, writing and developing software, and depending on background, serving as an instrument scientist. A generous amount of personal research time and resources, using SALT and other SAAO facilities, will also be available. SALT astronomers work within the SAAO science staff structure. Student supervision and lecturing are also encouraged.
• PhD in Astronomy.
• 3 years’ experience in optical observational astronomy and/or data reduction.
• Ability and interest to carry out own astronomical research.
Desirable Work Experience:
• Instrument development expertise, and/or software development experience, such as data reduction pipelines or web-based software, would be an advantage.
• Experience in precision radial velocity work Échelle spectroscopy and/or NIR spectroscopy with fibers or IFUs would be an advantage. However, applicants with other observational backgrounds relevant to SALT will also be considered.
• Student supervision and/or lecturing experience.
• Interest in PR and outreach, using social media or otherwise, is also an asset.
The position will initially be for a period of three years, with the possibility of an extension. The salary package will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The filling of this position will be in line with the NRF's Employment Equity Policy and Plan.
For further information please contact Dr. Encarni Romero Colmenero(firstname.lastname@example.org); applicants should send a cover letter and CV to this addressand to the SAAO HR Manager, Linda Tobin (email@example.com), and organise three letters of reference to be sent to both addresses.
Applications should be submitted no later than 30th April 2018.